Lifestyle Session at The Jersey Shore

If one lesson was learned during this shoot, it’s that the rain clouds had our number. Each time I set up for a shot involving more than one light…RAIN! You have to know we kept trying though and came away with some great running shots. We photographed around Spring Lake, New Jersey swapping outfits and getting excellent lifestyle shots for Andrea’s agent.

Model: Andrea Hoch

Equipment used:

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Lifestyle photos with Andrea Hoch in Spring Lake, NJ

Surprise, Jana! Engagement As It Unfolds At The Beach

Steve contacted me and asked if I would hide out on a windy, cold beach in February to photograph his proposal to Jana. I am down for anything so I bundled up and stocked up on handwarmers from 7-11. Visually these photos have a lot of impact. A stark beach with just two people expressing their love for one another. Bright red flowers. Lots of visual cues giving you a true feel for that day.

Steve is a brave man for designing and executing such a plan. Hats off to you both for such a wonderful moment in time. After you’re done perusing the photos, watch the engagement in full motion thanks to a couple GoPro cameras hidden on the beach.

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The Engagement of Jana Diamond and Steve Klotzkin at North Beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Jana & Steve’s Engagement in Sandy Hook, New Jersey 2/28/2014 from Chris Sztybel on Vimeo.

Kelly and Rick Beach Engagement Session at Sandy Hook, New Jersey

These two are a total joy to photograph. Kelly and Rick met up with me at Sandy Hook near the Atlantic Highlands for a ridiculously nice sunset engagement session. We shot up and down the bay until the sun dipped below the horizon. This was another day that reminded me of how cool it is to do what I do. The satisfaction of this kind of “work” trumps all else. It was also very nice to see Sandy Hook bounced back strong after Hurricane/Superstorm/Earth Destroyer Sandy rolled through almost one year ago. Freshly paved roads and mostly everything looking as I remembered it prior to the storm.

Previous photo session with Kelly, Rick and Sage at Princeton Battlefield:

Engagement Session with Kelly Werrlein and Rick Knecht at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. All photos copyright Christopher John Sztybel

Comic Book Afterlife Sandy Relief

Want to help restore the New Jersey shore? A lot of it simply isn’t there anymore. Houses that weren’t leveled by the hurricane will eventually be reduced to rubble from flood damage. The pictures we see of the damage cannot fully measure the impact. Do whatever you can to support the coast. I personally stand by Comic Book Afterlife Sandy Relief and their grassroots movement of raising at least $10,000.00. The money will go to the areas that need it most. If you donate to something like The Red Cross, that money can be squandered. I remember specific stories back in 2001 when The Red Cross was using funds to help the rich move after they lost family members in the World Trade Center. That didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.



New Jersey Zombie Poster

NJ Tanning Mom Patricia Krentcil

When I think of positive reasons for living in the state of New Jersey, residents like Patricia Krentcil come to mind. I was unaware that tanning booths had an “incinerate” feature. I dedicate this meme to all the sun worshippers out there rapidly aging their skin beyond its years.

New Jersey Tanning Mom Patricia Krentcil of Nutley, NJ


Jersey Shore Roller Girls poster concept

Concept poster for Jersey Shore Roller Girls
JSRG poster concept

The Rocketeer movie poster

Earlier in 2010 I designed a concept poster for the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. Instead of using team photos, I went with a hand drawn art deco theme. The sport of roller derby goes back to the time of the 1930s and one of my favorite things from that era is “The Rocketeer” by Dave Stevens. It was important to have that hand drawn and airbrushed technique and less of a “Photoshopped” look. I let highlights and glows fly and oversprayed areas to keep things unrefined. Less time spent on details and more time spent on overall feeling.

One of the elements I enjoy the most is the track below all of the pieces that are in your face. It helps keep everything bundled together. In a future revision, I might consider adding streaks of light, representing each team, racing around the track. The extra line work would help keep the bottom portion of the poster as interesting as the top.

Up close

I would love to revisit this design one day, but for now it will remain in this stage. For more information on the best roller derby league going, please visit the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. They play almost every month and it’s a guaranteed good time. I suggest hitting up the beaches and boardwalk before the bout to get the full experience of a true day at the Jersey shore. Summer will be here again before you know it.

Paradise Bikini/Go Model Go/Eventige Fashion Show @ Hudson Terrace

Paradise Bikini models backstage at Hudson Terrace
Paradise Bikini models backstage at Hudson Terrace

On Wednesday, October 6, 2010 I was invited to photograph a collection of swimwear by Paradise Bikini in a swanky Manhattan venue called Hudson Terrace. I woke up fairly early so I could get into NYC and run a bunch of errands. First stop was Sonic Boom where my friend Steve Melanson works. Sonic Boom is an excellent company that puts out kick-ass video games! He let me dump a bunch of my photography equipment at his desk. I had three bags loaded with camera bodies, flashes, lenses, diffusers…you name it. My back thanks you, Steve!

It was time to grab lunch so I stopped at Twins Pub for a Guinness and a cheeseburger. The cheeseburger was one of the best I’ve ever had and people had authentic Irish accents, which made the whole experience even better.

Then I headed over toward B&H Photo to sell off my old Canon 18-55mm f.3.5/5.6 IS lens. I knew it was time to switch to the Canon 24mm f/2.8 because that night I’d be shooting in an extremely dark environment. I also realized that I had been shooting toward the middle of the barrel of the 18-55mm for quite some time. Why pay the premium on a wide angle zoom if you’re not even using the damn thing as a zoom lens?

I handed out two of my trusty Kodak Zx1 pocket video cameras to Chris and Frantz from Paradise Bikini. Rich from Paradise Bikini had a little flip cam on him. In total, three video cameras at the event. I edited all of the footage into a decent format and uploaded to vimeo. Vimeo is everything that YouTube should be.

Then I went north to visit my friend Jane for some coffee and to catch up on all her wedding plans for January. Interesting fact: She does not want to refer to it as “HER BIG DAY” or “HER SPECIAL DAY”.

Ok time to walk back down to Sonic Boom and pick up my equipment. That was about 30 blocks. Then I began my trek to Hudson Terrace. Another 30 blocks. I underestimated how long that would take carrying three bags, but I was still on time and that’s all that mattered. Got inside and started getting both of my cameras setup. Very low light environment indeed. But I pulled through thanks to the brand new 24mm f/2.8 and my always reliable Canon 50mm f/1.8.

But enough talking about the fashion show. Take a look for yourself at what went down that night.

Paradise Bikini photoshoot

"before and after" shot of Nicole

Last Sunday morning I was hired to take photos for Paradise Bikini in Long Branch, NJ at Pier Village. It was an overcast day, but we managed to shoot for one hour between rain showers. Everyone worked quickly to run down the shot list Valerie set out to accomplish.

Overcast on the beach is cool for a couple reasons. 1.) It makes it more comfortable for everyone involved if the sun isn’t beating down. 2.) The light is even across the subject and background

One major drawback is the color saturation takes a hit. Grey isn’t complimenting the model’s skin tone or the perception of our beautiful New Jersey shore.

Here’s where my sunrise taken from Lavallette, NJ comes in. The perspective matched the original shot of Nicole, but looked a million times better. The ocean was less choppy during sunrise and certainly had more color.

Fast forward through some painstaking Photoshop work and here you have a lovely composite of Nicole at sunrise.

Click here to check out the entire shoot!